Materials Science News

New Battery Could Overcome Key Drawbacks of Lithium-Air Batteries

July 26, 2016

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New Battery Could Overcome Key Drawbacks of Lithium-Air Batteries

Engineers from MIT propose that a new lithium-oxygen battery material could be packaged in batteries that are very similar to conventional sealed batteries yet provide much more energy for their weight. Lithium-air batteries are considered highly promising technologies for electric cars and portable electronic devices because of their potential for delivering a high energy output […]

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New Hydrogel Hybrid Could Be Used To Make Artificial Skin

June 29, 2016

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MIT Develops Tough Hydrogel Hybrid

MIT engineers have developed a method to bind gelatin-like polymer materials called hydrogels and elastomers, which could be used to make artificial skin and longer-lasting contact lenses. If you leave a cube of Jell-O on the kitchen counter, eventually its water will evaporate, leaving behind a shrunken, hardened mass — hardly an appetizing confection. The […]

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Graphene Provides a New Way to Turn Electricity Into Light

June 15, 2016

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A New Way to Turn Electricity Into Light

By slowing down light to a speed slower than flowing electrons, scientists have developed a new way to turn electricity into light. When an airplane begins to move faster than the speed of sound, it creates a shockwave that produces a well-known “boom” of sound. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have discovered a similar […]

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Bones and Shells May Lead to a New Formula for Concrete

June 2, 2016

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MIT Engineers Search for a New Formula for Concrete

Engineers from MIT are seeking to redesign concrete by using bones and shells as blueprints for a stronger, more durable concrete. In a paper published online in the journal Construction and Building Materials, the team contrasts cement paste — concrete’s binding ingredient — with the structure and properties of natural materials such as bones, shells, […]

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Dual-Phase Alloys Capable of High Strength and Ductility

June 1, 2016

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Alloys Overcome the Strength–Ductility Ttrade Off

Using a new strategy in the development of steel, scientists are able to create alloys capable of both high strength and ductility. For the steel industry, there may be a way out of the dilemma that has existed since people began processing metal. Scientists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf (Germany) are presenting a […]

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Yale Engineers Develop a New Tool to Fight Dust

May 2, 2016

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Yale Develops a New Tool in the War Against Dust

Inspired by gecko feet, Yale researchers have developed a promising tool in the war on dust. Micrometric and sub-micrometric contaminant particles — what most of us call “dust” — can cause big problems for art conservators, the electronics industry, aerospace engineers, and others. These nanoparticles can prevent a cellphone from working or rob the vitality […]

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MIT Researchers Create Perfect Nanoscrolls from Graphene Oxide

April 12, 2016

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Researchers Create Perfect Nanoscrolls

Using both low- and high-frequency ultrasonic techniques, scientists have fabricated nanoscrolls made from graphene oxide flakes. Water filters of the future may be made from billions of tiny, graphene-based nanoscrolls. Each scroll, made by rolling up a single, atom-thick layer of graphene, could be tailored to trap specific molecules and pollutants in its tightly wound […]

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A New Approach to Designing Hydrogen-Resistant Zirconium Alloys

March 29, 2016

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Designing Hydrogen-Resistant Zirconium Alloys

Researchers from MIT have developed a new approach to designing hydrogen-resistant zirconium alloys, which could be useful in nuclear reactors. High-tech metal alloys are widely used in important materials such as the cladding that protects the fuel inside a nuclear reactor. But even the best alloys degrade over time, victims of a reactor’s high temperatures, […]

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Engineers Design Calcium-Based Multi-Element for Liquid Batteries

March 22, 2016

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New Chemistries for Liquid Batteries

In a newly published study, MIT researchers show that calcium can form the basis for both the negative electrode layer and the molten salt that forms the middle layer of the three-layer battery. Liquid metal batteries, invented by MIT professor Donald Sadoway and his students a decade ago, are a promising candidate for making renewable […]

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Scientists Develop a Light-Driven Three-Dimensional Plasmonic Nanosystem

February 24, 2016

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Researchers Develop Nanoplasmonic System in the Form of a Pair of Scissors That They Can Open Using UV light

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems have developed a nanoplasmonic system in the form of a pair of scissors that they can open using UV light. Nanomachines could take over a variety of tasks in future. Some day they may be able to perform medical precision work in the human body or […]

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Scientists Develop Graphene Composite to Simplify Ice Removal

January 27, 2016

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Scientists Develop Conductive Material to Simplify Ice Removal

Researchers at Rice University have developed a thin coating of graphene nanoribbons in epoxy that has proven effective at melting ice on a helicopter blade. The coating by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour may be an effective real-time de-icer for aircraft, wind turbines, transmission lines and other surfaces exposed to winter weather, according […]

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Graphene Oxide Layers Deform Evenly Under Gentle Strain

January 21, 2016

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New Graphene Oxide Paper Changes with Strain

New research from Rice University reveals that graphene oxide layers deform evenly under gentle strain and that the mechanical properties of the material change depending on the rate of strain. The same slip-and-stick mechanism that leads to earthquakes is at work on the molecular level in nanoscale materials, where it determines the shear plasticity of […]

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Voltage-Controlled Switchable Material Could Enable New Memory Chips

January 20, 2016

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Switchable Material Could Enable New Memory Chip Design

A new thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting could lead to new memory chip designs. Two MIT researchers have developed a thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting simply by applying a small voltage. The material then stays in its […]

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New Material Can Store Solar Energy During the Day and Release it Later as Heat

January 13, 2016

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A New Way to Store Solar Heat

Engineers from MIT have developed a new material could harvest sunlight by day and release heat on demand hours or days later. Imagine if your clothing could, on demand, release just enough heat to keep you warm and cozy, allowing you to dial back on your thermostat settings and stay comfortable in a cooler room. […]

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New Device Harnesses the Energy of Small Bending Motions

January 6, 2016

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New Device Harnesses the Energy of Small Bending Motions

Using a new method based on electrochemical principles, engineers at MIT have developed a new device that could provide electrical power source from walking and other ambient motions. For many applications such as biomedical, mechanical, or environmental monitoring devices, harnessing the energy of small motions could provide a small but virtually unlimited power supply. While […]

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Engineers Develop New Lightweight Metal from Carbide Nanoparticles

December 24, 2015

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Magnesium Infused with Dense Silicon Carbide Nanoparticles

Using magnesium infused with dense silicon carbide nanoparticles, engineers from UCLA have developed an exceptionally strong and lightweight metal that could be used for airplanes, cars, mobile electronics and more. A team led by researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has created a super-strong yet light structural metal with […]

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Researchers Improve Bulk Metallic Glass Nanostructures

December 23, 2015

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Guided Evolution of Bulk Metallic Glass Nanostructures

Scientists from Yale University have figured out a way to refine bulk metallic glasses to improve their electrochemical performance. Results of the research, based in the lab of chemical and environmental engineering professor André D. Taylor, are published in the December 22 issue of Advanced Materials. Bulk metallic glass (BMG), also known as amorphous metal […]

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Scientists Develop a New Class of Superhydrophobic Nanomaterials

December 10, 2015

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New Superhydrophobic Coating Protects Without the Price

Scientists at Rice University have developed a new class of superhydrophobic nanomaterials that might simplify the process of protecting surfaces from water. A material made by scientists at Rice University, the University of Swansea, the University of Bristol and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis is inexpensive, nontoxic and can be applied to a variety […]

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